Armoured Up

Archive for the tag “Christianity”

Led by the Spirit Lifer

imageslif•er
n. Informal.
1. a person sentenced to or serving a term of life imprisonment.
2. a person committed to a professional lifetime career in the military.

Lifer…I’ve heard people use that expression as it relates to their careers and I’ve also heard it used at a church where I was once a member.   After reading the above definition, I’m not sure that I much care for that term, actually!!

Recently, my husband commented that he really thought we would be “lifers” at our last church…so did I.  Our family is faithful.  We tend to stick and stay…same doctors, same supermarket, same dog groomer, same hairstylist (for me), you get the picture!  We’re pretty stable and loyal once we find a place to “hang our hat.”  As far as church is concerned, we are super vigilant and purpose to be loyal, not only because it is right and for our own good, but because there are two sets of eyes watching our every move and recording every decision.  We’ve never been the sort to church hop…we don’t even do much church visiting and if we do, our first stop is always our home church.  That’s just how we do it.

Last week my daughter was traipsing down memory lane and asked me how long we attended our previous church and with my response I started wondering if we would ever be lifers at a ministry.  For a split second (and believe me it was just that fast) I wondered if something was wrong with uprooting the family after just a few years…(5 years and two weeks to be exact:).

This past weekend I gained a whole new perspective on that lifer business as we witnessed Pastor Mike welcome a batch of newbies to partner up with him and the church to make a difference in the world, to grow, to share their gifts in what he phrased as “this Jesus movement.”  I love how he phrased that and I especially loved how he prayed over them.  He said something in that prayer that caught my ear…he prayed that for however long they were partnered at this church (whether a few years or many) that they would grow in their knowledge and love for the Lord.  Pastor Mike apparently does not expect these partners to be “lifers;” however, he does pray that during the time at the church, that they grow up and go out strong in order to make a difference wherever they go.

This morning his prayer came to mind again and I sensed the Holy Spirit showing me that I am a lifer only in the sense that I am committed to my marriage for life.  I would imagine if one goes into any situation with a plan for life (other than marriage), they would be excluding the possibility of being led by the Holy Spirit, thereby being limited by their planning.

Tonight when my girl comes home, I will explain this lifer deal to her and her brother so that they would understand the importance of being led by the Spirit of God…not emotions or people, or habit, etc.  I will reiterate that the Holy Spirit’s leading is always followed by peace and order and I will let them know that we will be officially making our new church our home church this summer.

I’m praying that we would hear the voice of the Lord and be led by His Spirit; that our decisions would be in line with His will, plan and purpose; that our intentions would always mirror His heart for those whom He places in our path and that He be glorified always and in every way…in Jesus’ name!!

The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord, and He delights in his way.
Psalm 37:23

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I Wanna Live on Holy Hill in a Sacred Tent

Today during my prayer time, I came across Psalm 15.  I love a good checklist and tend to tell the truth (in my head) while I’m reading that checklist.  If I don’t like my answers, I just keep on flipping the pages for something more pleasant, but those answers stay with me.  OY!!!

v. 1 Lord, who may dwell in your sacred tent?  Who may live on your holy mountain?  (I’m good here, because I want to…I really do!  Oh Lord, may I?)

v. 2 The one whose walk is blameless (uh oh), who does what is righteous (subject to interpretation), who speaks the truth from their heart (I’m feeling pretty good now, kinda);

v. 3 Whose tongue utters no slander (ummm…), who does no wrong to a neighbor (I don’t try to), and casts no slur on others (uh, Proverbs 31 anyone?) – If this entire verse could be removed, I’d be feeling a lot better!

v. 4 who despises a vile person but honors those who fear the Lord (I’m working on despising the deed not the doer…that’s good, right?); who keeps an oath even when it hurts, and does not change their mind (I got this…no longer clenching my jaw!);

v. 5 who lends money to the poor without interest; who does not accept a bribe against the innocent (piece of cake).

Whoever does these things will never be shaken.

So, am I a candidate to dwell (remain, abide, stay) in His sacred tent or on Holy Hill?  Wanting to is not good enough, it seems.  (“If you are willing AND obedient, you will eat the good of the land.” Isaiah 1:19)  Having great intentions won’t get me where I wanna be, either!  That stinkin’ tongue!!  The truth is we all have work to do.  The bar is set so high lest we walk around puffed up monitoring other people’s checklists while we move into pride, marveling at how perfect we are and shunning those who just don’t measure up.  Humility goes a long way!

I was checked this morning and am thankful for ears to hear and a willingness to allow Him in to shed His light on the areas in most need of adjusting so that I can humbly claim my spot in the best campsite ever…that sacred tent on Holy Hill!

Hiking shoes (check); rod – to swipe at any enemies trying to impede my progress (check); blinders – can’t afford to be distracted (check); mind stayed on Him (check); pressing forward.  Here I come, Lord…save me a spot!!

“Lord, set a guard over my mouth; keep watch over the door of my lips; give me ears to hear and a tenderness for those You’ve placed in my life so that I may speak words of life and hope, kindness and mercy.  Give me the grace to quickly forgive and the ability to walk in the agape kind of love that bears up under anything and everything, overlooks wrongdoing, keeps no record, believes the best and endures without weakening…in Jesus’ name.”

Just Give Me Jesus

It took me a while to find what had been missing in my life. I always had a sensing that there was more. I never understood why I was full but still hungry; why I would drink and remain thirsty; why that new thing that made most people happy, bored me once the newness faded.  I was pretty open to trying what felt right.  You could say I was pretty liberal, even entertaining the thought that all paths led to God.  Oprah and I could have been besties.

I had done my share of searching, especially having landed in LaLa Land, which has been called the land of the fruits and nuts. I arrived in Los Angeles as a curious Catholic. I found an amazing “loud” Catholic church on the verge of being charasmatic and coming from a loud, feisty family I rather enjoyed the freedom of almost raising my hands in worship. I loved the guitars and the contemporary songs and there was even a clap or two during a few. The priest was young and firey just like me…and then just like that he was moved to another parish and the guitars were silenced and we were back to the organ and the elderly priest. I was gone too, but my search continued…

Next, I tried an Apostolic church whenever my husband was home from out of town and again, I really liked the music and the people seemed pretty free..well I was a little scared at times when they jumped and I couldn’t understand what all the falling was about and could someone please explain to me how it was okay for people to talk out loud in church?  I enjoyed the sermons as I called them. They were always positive and I loved how the pastor spoke so eloquently…there was something about him. The people scared me so I never visited without my husband..and my search continued.

I clearly recall my husband and I going to a baby naming ceremony where we gathered in a circle as drums were being played. I surveyed the people in the circle and was intrigued by them. I loved how they swayed to the music, eyes closed, arms waving and the words they each spoke…a blessing for the baby…so deep…so finger snappin’ deep and then it was my turn. Now why did I have to bring God into the mix and ruin the vibe? (At least that was the message I got when every eye opened, every head turned and faced my direction) and somehow the drums weren’t as noticeable to me above the loudness of my thumping heart. I kept my head bowed to shield my red face praying that the next person would assume the baton quickly. Ah yes, I hear the drums again and yes, the search continued…

Oh well, next we were invited to a hotel where someone called “The Master” was speaking. Ever the curious one, I gladly went although I wasn’t too happy about removing my shoes. I obeyed my husband after the third time when he said through clenched teeth, “honey, please just take them off…do it for me.” The  Master spoke, but I didn’t hear a thing. Afterwards, he made his way towards us. We were easy to spot, being the only two in the crowd not wearing white robes and turbans. He
stood before me and stared into my eyes, lifted his hand and slapped me. Oh, no he didn’t! Yes he did and our host told me that it was an honor to be slapped by the Master. Not if you’re Puerto Rican, it isn’t!! Umm…the search continued.

My husband, ever the caring one was concerned about my lack of friends when we first arrived in California, so he set out to find me some. Honey, you have to get out and fellowship. Okay, so I accepted an invitation to a house party given by a stylist. It was to be a gathering of women. I arrived and was met by a rather serious man who instructed me to not only remove my shoes, (here we go again) but I had to hand them over too. Huh? I walked right into a Buddhist fellowship and I tell you when they began chanting (as I sat on the couch refusing to kneel with everyone) I decided there was no way I was gonna take part in this party. I got up and got loud when the host would not hand over my shoes. I ran outta there and the search continued.

My search ended, not at a church, hotel or house party, but in my bedroom when at the end of my rope, a life line was thrown as I knelt next to my bed (although He would have said yes had I been standing on my head) and I asked Jesus to be the Lord of my life. I just knew that my search had ended and my journey with Him was about to begin.

Months later, I was in San Francisco at a hair salon opening. I was having a conversation with a non believer. The conversation turned to religion and he explained that he had studied religions and settled with Buddhism. He asked if I had tried it. No way was I going to tell him of my experience, but I did tell him that I had been a seeker, but my search had ended when I became a born again Christian. He had a lot to say about Christianity and I listened…(the baby Christian that I was), not being well versed in the word; not a scholar…just a believer…I listened and told him that I was not moved to search any more because I found what I had been searching for. Bless his heart, he went on to tell me that I was close minded, like most Christians he knew. I laughed to myself knowing that I had been anything but that. When I asked him if he had ever read the bible himself, he said he hadn’t and had no intention to do so. I asked him as politely as I could….Who’s being close minded now? “Touche,” he said.

Never will I leave my first love. My beloved is mine and I am His! I have been sealed (branded as His own, secured) set apart just for Him. No more searching…no more drumming, slapping or chanting…Just give me Jesus!!

“Seek the Lord while He may be found, Call upon Him while He is near.”      Isaiah 55:6

“I love those who love me. And those who seek me diligently will find me.” Proverbs 8:17

Daughter…You were Planned…You are Loved

If God is for us, who or what can come against us…and be successful?  Nothing and no one you might say and I’d beg to differ, coz there’s always YOU!  Those three letters separate you from Him and every good and perfect thing He has reserved for those who would yield to Him and believe that YOU are what HE says you are; YOU can do everything HE says you can do.  You are that whosoever He speaks of in Mark 11:23 KJV.

Lately, the story of the woman with the issue of blood has been coming up a lot in messages.  I always tune in when I hear her story in Mark 5:25-34.  This woman had some issues.  Don’t we all!!  Imagine having a continuous flow of blood for twelve years and desperately seeking a cure, going from doctor to doctor until you’re left financially ruined and in worse shape than when your nightmare began.  Imagine the physical toll on your body; the ruinous effect on friendships and forget about any kind of relationship with a man.  Like the lepers of that time, according to Mosaic Law, she was excluded from society and was forbidden public access unless she announced her arrival using the word “unclean” to describe herself, giving people ample time to steer clear from her.  Imagine that humiliation!  Imagine the hits you would take from the “theys.”  Those who gather to point at you, to gawk, to spread rumors…imagine the things said about you; the names you’d be called…outcast, unclean, pitiful, cursed, nasty, poor, loser.   Nothing can be said about you that would rival the tapes running in your head, recited in your own voice…adding to the horror, the feelings of anger, shame, loneliness, hopelessness, sadness, depression, fear.

But faith…it comes by hearing and hearing by the word.  This woman heard about Jesus, the Word made manifest in the flesh, and she moved…pushing her way through the crowd despite her weakened condition, her outcome already settled within her as she pressed forth.  She didn’t wait for Him to see her…she saw, she reached out, she took her healing.  I absolutely love her encounter with the One who healed her.  He could have corrected her for interrupting Him; rebuked her for coming out in public in her condition…instead, He replaced every awful name she was ever called when he called her “Daughter.”  He healed every hurt when he continued saying, “your faith has made you well.  Go in peace.  Your suffering is over.” NLT

I shared this message with a  group of teens/young adult women and then I passed around a gigantic, hand held mirror and asked each girl to tell me what she saw.  The responses ranged from just okay to not good enough to one of the girls not even wanting to look at herself.  I took that opportunity to remind them that they were His daughters and they were on His mind…have been for a long time and will be forever; they were loved by Him unconditionally and were not a mistake…were perfect in His sight.

And so I invite you to read and receive, then take and make yours the way they did..

You Were Planned

– I knew you even before you were conceived. (Jeremiah 1:5)

– I pre-appointed the exact time of your birth and where you would live. (Acts 17:26)

– I knit you together in your mother’s womb. (Psalm 139:13)

– You are fearfully and wonderfully made. (Psalm 139:14)

– You were not a mistake, for all your days are written in My book. (Psalm 139:15-16)

– I brought you forth on the day you were born. (Psalm 71:6)

– I know everything about you. (Psalm 139:1)

– I know when you sit down and when you rise up.  I know what you’re thinking. (Psalm 139:2)

– I am familiar with ALL your ways. (Psalm 139:3)

– Even the very hairs on your head are numbered. (Matthew 10:30)

A Father’s Love

– You were made in My image. (Genesis 1:27)

– You are My offspring. (Acts 17:28)

– It is My desire to lavish My love on you, simply because you are My child and I am your Father. (1John 3:1)

– My thoughts toward you are as countless as the sand on the seashore.  (Psalm 139:17-18)

– My plan for your future has always been filled with hope because I love you with an everlasting love. (Jeremiah 29:11; Jeremiah 31:3)

– You are My treasured possession. (Exodus 19:5)

– I will be with you; never leave or abandon you. (Deuteronomy 31:8)

– I will never stop doing good to you. (Jer. 32:40)

– I rejoice over you with singing. (Zephaniah 3:17)

– When you are brokenhearted, I am close to you. (Psalm 34:18)

– I comfort you in all your troubles. (2Corinthians 1:3-4)

– I am your greatest encourager. (2Thessalonians 2:16-17)

– I want to show you great and marvelous things. (Jeremiah 33:3)

– If you seek Me with all your heart, you will find Me. (Deuteronomy 4:29)

– I desire to establish you with all My heart and all My soul. (Jeremiah 32:41)

– Delight in Me and I will give you the desires of your heart, for it is I who gave you those desires. (Psalm 37:4; Philippians 2:13)

– In Me you live and move and have your being. (Acts 17:28)

– Every good gift you receive comes from My hand. (James 1:17)

– I offer you more than your earthly father ever could because I am the perfect Father. (Matthew 7:11; Matthew 5:48)

– I am your provider and I meet your needs. (Philippians 4:19)

– I am able to do more for you than you could possibly imagine.  (Ephesians 3:20)

Be Encouraged!

This morning as I was praying, Philippians 1:6 kept coming up…”being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ.”  I gladly took a break from laundry to post this bit of encouragement to all of you wounded warriors, the broken hearted, weary, disappointed, overwhelmed.  He’s the healer of the brokenhearted; He is your strength, your comforter, your joy, your peace.  Those of you who have fallen and are embarrassed, feeling judged or humiliated, please know that “The righteous may fall seven times and rise again.”  There is NOW (like right now) no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus. He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from ALL unrighteousness!  Be encouraged!

I was once followed into the prayer room at church by a young adult who came in to sign up to bring a dish to an upcoming prayer meeting/fellowship.  I picked up that there was something else going on with her and when I probed, sadness spilled from her.  She had a lot going on and life was getting to her.  She ended by saying that she felt she had no purpose and stopped short of saying that she no longer wanted to live.  I spotted a doorstop steps away from where we were standing and I walked over to it, picked it up and brought it to her.  I shared that “everything has a purpose.  This doorstop was created with a purpose; this rug we are standing on has a purpose…how much more purpose do you have…having been created in His image and likeness; having the mind of Christ; having Him housed within your temple.  Please believe that you have purpose!”

And so do you…and so do I.  The trials and troubles we endure will not shake us from our firm foundation.  Do not grow weary in your well doing.  He is the healer of all things broken.   I encourage you to arise, take up your sword and continue to fight the good fight of faith.  Press on to the mark of your high calling and recognize that “God’s gifts and His call are irrevocable.  (He never withdraws them when once they are given, and He does not change His mind about those to whom He gives His grace or to whom He sends His call.) Romans 11:29 AMP  The greater One resides on the inside of you prompting you, guiding you.  The angel of the Lord is encamped around you protecting you.  He is your sustainer, your healer, your provider, your protector, your redeemer, the lover of your soul and with long life He will satisfy you!   If the enemy could have ended your life, he would have done it already!  Be encouraged!

“Arise (from the depression and prostration in which circumstances have kept you – rise to a new life)!  Shine (be radiant with the glory of the Lord), for your light has come, and the glory of the Lord has risen upon you!” Isaiah 60:1 AMP  Lift up your eyes all around and see.

Hurt hurts

“Behold, I give you the authority to trample on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall by any means hurt you.” Luke 10:19

Hurt hurts!  I learned that the hard way.  One of the toughest seasons for me began when I noticed this scripture several years back.  What I thought was a great revelation for me to be able to share in a teaching atmosphere turned out to be preparation for what I would endure.  Actually, I believe it was the Lord prompting me to prepare for what was to come and instead I was preparing a message.  In the end I was the one who learned the lesson when all of hell raged against me to prove that I was no match for my adversary…that I had no authority.

My heart was broken after two very special people passed away back to back and I had barely recovered when an all out assault against me began by people who were considered my “friends”…my “sisters,” people I had opened my home to and with whom I shared myself, my family.  You know, the enemy strikes most times when we are at our weakest point.   I was hurt, then shocked, then offended, then irritated, then angry, then bitter, then hardened, then unforgiving, then withdrawn, then silent.  I saw each step of this hideous chain reaction unfold in my life, unraveling my purpose, threatening to choke the life out of me…I had the notes for this process; was prepared to teach on how to guard against living this process and here I was smack dab in it.  It took a year to climb out of that hole.  The irritating part was that I had a heads up and ignored it.

I sought Godly counsel, I confronted the offenders (once I was able to do so in love, of course) and I forgave them.  I may have lost the battle, but I refused to waste another minute and lose the war.  I stepped into my authority as a believer and used the word as my weapon…to live again, to love again!!   One day my sister asked me if I had gotten over that time and whether I had really forgiven those involved and I told her I thought I had.  I measured that response by the fact that I could be in their presence and not want to spit, so of course I had forgiven, but now that she brought it up I was wondering again.  I guess not wanting to spit was not good enough so I asked the Lord to show me whether I had really forgiven and the answer came .  He’ll answer if you ask, you know.  I learned that a good way to measure when hurt has healed is when you can talk about it and it no longer hurts or elicits any other unhealthy emotion; when your experience can become a lesson by which someone else can heal.

I learned that while we are healing if we continue to discuss the issue and rehearse the hurt, it takes longer to heal, to forgive, etc.  When I no longer talked about it to garner sympathy and I finally stuck a fork in it, I found myself taking back the authority I had given the enemy.  I knew not to run from the situation or those involved so I stayed put until the Lord released me, once the lesson was learned to move forward and away to begin again.

Hurt hurts…but He heals!

Praying for those who have experienced hurt..that you would allow the healer of the broken hearted to do a work in every area that has been breached by the enemy; that you would stand in the midst of the hurt and release the Word of God over your situation; that you would seek Godly counsel who would encourage you, agree in prayer with you; that you would forgive those who have come against you so that you too would be released and propelled into your destiny in Jesus’ name..Amen and so be it now!

Be Thankful!!

Yesterday as I was preparing for church I was reminded of a song I had written during a “blue” period entitled “Thank You.”  Odd title when you’re going through it, huh?  During service, Psalm 100:4 was quoted and I caught it and saw it….”Enter into His gates with thanksgiving, and into His courts with praise.  Be thankful to Him and bless His name.”  I saw myself entering through those gates and approaching the Holy of Holies where the presence of the Lord was contained in that day.  I recognized the need to enter in; the desire to get lost in His presence, but knew before He made a move (though He was hovering) I must make the first move, by inviting Him in with my praise and with thanksgiving.  He inhabits the praise of His people and while His people offer praise and thanksgiving, the enemy is brought to a standstill.

This morning I woke up with thanksgiving in my heart and when I sat down in my prayer area, before my daughter could fill my ears with requests for the day, I closed my eyes and just began to thank Him.  I thanked Him for those things I take for granted; things I forget to thank Him for…my vision…my hearing…my sense of smell, taste, touch.  I thanked Him for my husband who after 25 years still pursues me; for my children who honor me; for my family who loves me; for my friends who celebrate me.  I thanked Him for my church, my Pastors (past and present); my home, which is more than a house with stuff in it.  I thanked Him for His word which is so rich and powerful, unchanging and everlasting.  I then began to intercede as the Holy Spirit led.  I never asked for a thing for myself. He knows me and knows what I have need of today.  Today my time was set apart to thank Him first….to bless Him first.  He is so worthy to be praised!

Thank You

To the One who sits enthroned above the heavens
To the One who was and is and is to come
To the One and only God You are so worthy to be praised
I thank You Lord, thank You, thank You Lord

You are the lifter of my head
My defender, my strong tower
You cover me with Your mighty hand
And when I’m weak I am made strong
by Your love and by Your power
Thank You Lord….thank You, thank You Lord

A Word about Joe Paterno….Shhhhh

Daniel in the bible had a sterling reputation.  In Daniel 5:14 Daniel finds himself before the king hearing these words “I have heard of you, that the Spirit of God is in you, and that light and understanding and excellent wisdom are found in you.”  I have made that my personal confession and declare those words to be true for my husband and children.

As we witness Joe Paterno’s memory and legacy take a hit, I’m driven to wonder what the memory will be of my choices, comments, actions, interactions, associations.  How sad that Paterno went to his grave in shame with a host of people shaking their heads and uttering tsk tsk.  He apparently saw and didn’t say and his silence hurt people and devastated him and his legacy.  He compromised his beliefs, most likely…probably not to be a snitch, possibly for professional reasons.  His legacy…all that he built, forgotten in the memory of a secret he kept.  Secrets don’t usually remain a secret.  We have a tendency of sharing our heart (hopefully with someone who will cover, conceal and protect it and guard our secret).  When we share we expose ourselves and take a chance that our secrets may no longer be.  That was not the case with Mr. Paterno.  The secret he should have exposed, exposed him, bit him, hurt him, sent him to the grave probably shaking his head too!  My point is not to throw salt on the wound or judge the situation.  The facts of the case judge him and the participants enough.  I feel for him and his family; for the reputation as a professional he built.  The monument built as a lasting memory of him and his accomplishments will probably be yanked from its foundation…all for a secret.  I especially feel for all of the victims within this secret, for their families and loved ones left with the feelings of “I should have known” “I wish I knew” “If I only knew” and it wouldn’t be fair not to feel for the family and loved ones of the perpetrator.  People tortured, families scarred, reputations ruined, legacies lost…all because of a secret.

Lord, may my reputation, born from the choices that I made, what I stood for, what and who I spoke up for, the company I kept, the decisions I made be so in line with Your Word, Your will, Your plan, Your purpose for me that those who knew me will be able to say without a doubt that, “she lived for Him, with Him and He operated through her”…may it be known and be apparent and may You get every bit of the glory.  May the only secret kept be between us as I share my heart with You and tap into Yours…in Jesus’ name!  I love the Lord…that’s no secret!!

“Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in Your sight, O Lord, my (firm, impenetrable) Rock and my Redeemer.” Psalm 19:14
“Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right, persevering, and steadfast spirit within me.” Psalm 51:10

How Will “They” Know

They’ll Know We Are Christians – Carolyn Arends

We are one in the Spirit, we are one in the Lord (repeat)
And we pray that all unity may one day be restored And they’ll know we are Christians by our love, by our love
They will know we are Christians by our love

We will work with each other, we will work side by side (repeat
And we’ll guard each one’s dignity and save each one’s pride
And they’ll know we are Christians by our love, by our love

We will walk with each other, we will walk hand in hand (repeat)
And together we’ll spread the news that God is in our land 
And they’ll know we are Christians by our love

These are the lyrics to a hymn I remember singing in church as a young girl.  They came to mind as I was looking over some notes I took as I watched a documentary the other day.  I was riveted by the scenes that played before me as the heart of God – His extravagant, relentless love was displayed in scene after scene of “Father of Lights.”  Writer, Producer, Narrator, Darren Wilson grabs his camera and crew and takes us with them where we meet people committed to be the hands and feet of Christ.  People who have taken Mark 16:15 and put feet on it.  We meet Ravi in India who is awakened each morning at 4:00 and given his orders for the day by God, whom he calls Daddy and we follow him on the most amazing journey as lives are changed (I hesitate to be too specific because you have to see it for yourselves).  God at work through man!!!  We meet a family from the states who sold their home and gave away all of their possessions to move to China with their three small children in tow and no particular plan, except they heard from God; whose arms God chooses to be the ones to hug and care for children given away because of their “defects.”  We meet a dude from PA with dreads and a whole lotta love whose story of love and boldness left such a smile on my face.

One of the quotes from this documentary slapped me hard across the chops…”Jesus didn’t tell us to point out what’s wrong with everyone; He told us to love;  He did not want converts, He wants a bride.”  Todd the dude with the dreads said it like this, “If people can’t see Christ in you, they don’t want what you have.”

This documentary shred me, leaving me in a pool of tears.  Its beauty and rawness rang a bell deep in my soul…to be less critical, less judgmental, less quick to be “right;” less formula driven; less safe and to know more, be more, show more LOVE!  Like a child who can’t help being like their mommy or daddy, who have a great hand in forming who they are, I am committed to getting closer to my Heavenly Father…my Abba in order to acquaint myself with Him…all of Him…in order to be more like Him.  I want eyes like my Father to see as He sees; want hands like my Father to hold, touch and heal as He does; feet like my Father, in order to go and do all that my Father instructs me to do.

“By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.” John 13:35
“Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature.” Mark 16:15

A Charger, an Extension Cord and the Truth…The Whole Truth, Nothing but the Truth…God Help Me!!!

I like lists…I like five point messages…when I pray, I string along at least three scriptures…more if I’m in the zone.  Just thought I’d point out my grouping tendencies, just in case you haven’t noticed.  You’ll never figure out the subject matter of this post by its title.  It very much described today…a special day for my daughter and me.  She and my son were gone for a couple of days to camp with our church’s youth and she returned tired and talkative and best of all, so happy to see me.  Yesterday we had some prayer time, she shared her pictures and we hung out in the pool and spent most of the day together.  Later in the day, she pulled out her journal to read what the Holy Spirit dropped in her heart during worship over the weekend.  I was tearing up as she shared her heart with me.  This morning she woke up looking for me again.  After we completed our chores, she watched as I squeezed lemons for lemonade and then followed me back to the living room asking me when we were going to start reading the books we recently ordered from Amazon.  She’s open and wanting to engage.  I watched her when she wasn’t looking.  I thought how blessed my daughter was to have someone to pour into her, life’s lessons; how blessed she was to know Jesus this intimately at such a young age; and then I thought of the huge responsibility on my shoulders.  I relaxed as I remembered that it not only was a shared responsibility with my husband, SomeOne much bigger, wiser, more loving and faithful than either of us was in control.

For the longest time I’ve known that today would come; I’ve sorta been preparing, but was not prepared, really.  I had cruised around this topic before, ducking her pointed questions on more than one occasion, recognizing that timing was everything and her immaturity would time after time prolong the inevitable.  Today was the day…the time had come…it had to be done and I had to be the one and she was ready so ready or not…I took a deep breath….and then started thinking about me at that age and how no one ever broke anything down to me.  Good grief, this was a joke.  What I learned, I learned from giggly, misinformed cousins and conversations overheard and possibly a book or two from a classmate.  I came out of that reverie, ready to take the plunge and I began by talking to her about hormones, body image, touch. I thought I’d break into a sweat when it came time to go in for the kill; break it down; seal the deal, especially when I noticed her looking out the window in a trance.  I tried to ask leading questions to see what she knew, but she wasn’t biting.  She did admit to having heard some things on tv which made her wonder.  As she was talking, I spotted my computer charger and an extension cord and was able to diffuse any discomfort by using my props to conjure up the image of women as receivers and men as givers.  I was swimming now, not flopping around and I had her complete attention.  I shocked myself with the words I was using…nothing X rated, but certainly “R” :).  I told her stories of my upbringing and then the lesson was over for now.  I kissed her and promised that she could trust me; that I would tell her the truth, the whole truth at all times.  She kissed me and thanked me and promised to trust me.  I walked away thinking about everything I said and all that I didn’t say and the rest that I need to say.  Ours will be an ongoing discussion…I’m believing that will be the case.

As uncomfortable the notion of going there was, I felt that it was time and I was much more self assured than I thought I’d be.  She was ready, more mature and I surely didn’t want her learning on the fly as I did.  I didn’t follow any prescribed method or five point message; I didn’t get any advice from Dr. Leman or anyone else.  I was led by the Holy Spirit who nudged me today…the timing was right…her heart was yielded…we got through it…it’s done.  For today anyway!

Whew!!  What a day!!

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